We do get another chance! The “Season of Advent” gives the church the opportunity to begin again.
- Once more the full story of God’s grace is awaiting our discovery.
- Once more we shake failures and victories of the past, and we get a clean page on which to write the story of our relationship with God in Christ.
- Once more we get to listen and respond in faithfulness to the God who comes so humbly, intimately, and personally in the birth of Jesus.
What is Advent?
Advent marks the beginning of the church year and lays before us the pathway of faith for the year ahead. Advent is a time of remembering, retelling, and celebrating the whole drama of God’s revelation.
Four weeks is the limit to this season that declares the truth about a God whose love and resourcefulness has no limits. “Advent” has its roots in the Latin word adventus, or coming. The season proclaims the coming of Christ in the birth of Jesus, in the Word and Spirit, and in final victory when God’s kingdom shall be complete. Our privilege as Christ Followers is to receive the gracious gifts of God’s presence in Christ. Our task is to prepare for his coming so that we will not miss life’s greatest gift.
Sometimes the hype and cliches of the season distract us. The clever marketing efforts succeed in making us desire tangible things we can hold in our hands and savor as gifts. However, marketing hype and catchy cliches cannot answer the deep questions of the heart, explain the mystery of God’s presence, or help us comprehend the meaning of our existence. Yet all these gifts are promised to us in the Advent Season.
How Advent Confronts Us
Yes, it is true that God’s astounding and radical intervention in our human history cannot be contained in the tame and timid displays of Christmas lights, catchy slogans, or the exchange of gifts. Advent confronts us once again with God’s unparalleled effort to communicate the message that all humankind is embraced and held close by a God of love. Jesus Christ has come, is present with us, and will come again in final victory when all darkness, pain, and evil will be no more. In Advent we begin again to try to make plain the wonderful truth of the most extraordinary good news the world has ever heard. Soon we will join the angelic chorus in saying, “Christ the Savior is born.”
From God’s Word
Matthew 1:23 New International Version (NIV)
23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[a] (which means “God with us”).